Throughout the ’80s and ’90s the Bread and Puppet Theater’s Domestic Resurrection Circus festival was a regular part of our summer. 1998 was the last year for the big fest, and we hadn’t gone since then. Then this last August we made the trek up to Glover in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
I am happy to report that everything is as it was. The Museum is still there. There is a big new theater. Peter Schumann is baking bread, creating plays and walking on his tall stilts in the Circus. On the weekends in July and August, there is a Friday night drama in the new theater, and the Circus and Pageant is on Sunday.
Cheney, Condi, Bush, Ashcroft, and Rummy from 'Right in the Oval Office" (photo by Ed Atkeson)
Artist Ed Atkeson launched his love affair with puppets in 2004 with the premiere of “Right in the Oval Office,” a one-act political satire by Gene Mirabelli that was staged at Firlefanz Gallery, the now sadly defunct art gallery that Atkeson operated with his wife, Cathy Frank on Lark Street in Albany.
He designed and built the puppets and gathered a collective of artists, poets, dancers, musicians and other like-minded folks to act as the voices and puppeteers. Thus was born Firlefanz Puppets with a mission of proving that puppets aren’t just for kids.
Firlefanz Puppets: Oakley Hall III’s Ubu Rex (photo by Timothy Cahill)
“It’s an art exhibit.”
“No, it’s a puppet show.”
Wait! You’re both right. It’s an art exhibit and a puppet show.
Artist Ed Atkeson launched his love affair with puppets in 2004 with the premiere of “Right in the Oval Office,” a short political comedy by Gene Mirabelli that was staged at the beloved and now sadly defunct Firlefanz Gallery on Lark Street in Albany. He designed and built the puppets from scratch and gathered an ensemble of artists, poets, dancers, musicians and other like-minded folks to act as the voices and puppeteers. Thus was born Firlefanz Puppets, and Atkeson was off and running.
Once again, Discard Avant Garb’s charity fundraising Recycled Fashion Show outdid itself.
Each year, we walk out after the show thinking, “Well, they won’t be able to top that next year.” And every year, they do just that.
It’s Nippertown’s hippest and most fun annual art party – at least we hope it’s annual again after taking a year off in 2010. While the party at Grand Street Community Arts in Albany went on for about three and a half hours, the fashion show itself lasted only 50 minutes. But what a wild and wonderful 50 minutes they were.
With Chris Harvey’s hot-green bamboo installation and an array of Dennis Herbert’s surreal box assemblages serving as a backdrop, the never-demure Mary Panza once again served as Emcee from Hell, detailing the recycled ingredients of each outfit and often chastising the models as they strutted their stuff upon the runway.
It was a perfect evening of underground art at Grand Street Community Arts in Albany.
Bands (performance artists) Brief Bouts of SPIMES (Calamity Noise Implosions & Yeti Grunts) and Redefined Arguments (Ascended-Master gluon plasma rock: Big sound, small people) played short sets, then the RPM Puppet Conspiracy presented a fast-paced little sci-fi story, “The Standard Model.” Based in Chicago or Vermont (Angela was vague), RPMPC is David Bailey and Angela DiVeglia, and they’re winding up a six-week tour that covered half the U.S.
The play is a cleverly super-charged story of space creatures and lost eyeglasses, laser bombs, end of the universe, etc. I had fun. Great venue. Good attitude. Heck of a nice way to spend a Wednesday night.
The arrival of Bread & Puppet Theater’s hand-painted old school bus in Hudson is one of the true harbingers of spring – like robins on your front yard, crocuses poking their heads up through the snow and the opening of The Snowman in Troy.
The seven-member troupe pulled into Time + Space Limited in Hudson on Thursday for their 13th annual spring appearance there. Wrapping up a southern tour, T+SL is the final stop before they head home to Glover, Vermont.
This time around, they’re presenting “The Decapitalization Cabaret,” an hour-long romp of funky political vaudeville featuring a variety of skits, songs, dances and a bit of audience interaction. And on Thursday’s opening night performance, they kicked it off with decapitation as well as decapitalization, as a trio of headless capitalists in business suits and briefcases kicked up their heels in a dance mourning their loss of profits, as well as their heads.
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